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New Logistical Trends and Their Effects

by Administrator16. April 2015 11:04

New Logistical Trends and Their Effects | The Dependable Companies

 

Logistics is the key connector between companies across the globe, as well as from business to consumer. As such, the emerging trends within the logistics industry have a major impact on the way in which operations flow and the way in which business is conducted. There are several new logistical trends that are having strong effects on business, particularly imports and exports. Below are a few of the most common changing trends.

Globalization

There has been substantial growth in a number of economic markets across the globe, but particularly in Asian countries. As such, the reach of many trading options has expanded to accommodate new and emerging markets.

Information Technology

The evolution of information technology has opened the door to the use of many new technologies within logistical operations. These advanced systems allow businesses to connect and conduct business from virtually anywhere, which helps to further spur globalization efforts.

Stronger Compliance Regulations

As these new markets take higher stakes in the trade world, new protocols and regulations are needed to govern trade practices and ensure the fair trade of goods and services. Especially with the rise in consumers’ concern with the manner in which things are procured, higher expectations have been set and governing bodies are making sure that companies are rising to the occasion.

Multi-Channel Sourcing

As consumer practices change, so must logistical methods. Therefore, as consumers begin to utilize multiple channels to obtain products, it is in a business’ best interest to provide goods and services through those multiple streams. To account for this, many businesses and shippers are developing new partnerships to help reduce the average importing and exporting costs.

These and other trends have caused a drastic shift in the ways that logistical efforts are implemented. The aforementioned factors only tip the iceberg on the various shifts that affect all aspects of logistics in businesses. Through it all, the increase in connectivity has greatly enhanced international relations and has helped to create a rejuvenation of strong import and export efforts.

 

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The Logistics of Transportation

by Administrator16. April 2015 09:01

The Logistics of Transportation | The Dependable Companies

 

Logistics transportation is a term that refers to the complex system that keeps the global supply train moving along smoothly. This network stretches around the world to get products from one place to another, eventually delivering them into the hands of the customer. This is a highly important resource for most, if not all, businesses both large and small.

All Part of the Job

Dealing with logistics means managing all of the incoming and outgoing shipments at a facility. It also includes other elements like warehousing, organizing the fleets of vehicles needed for transportation, and designing the best logistics network for the needs of the business. This allows inefficiencies to be found and removed, saving both time and money in multiple areas. A good plan allows a company to get the most out of their supply chain, saving money and increasing sales while expanding their customer base all the while.

Links in the Chain

All different forms of transportation are used to get shipments where they need to go. Ground freight, air, and sea all work in tandem to ensure an efficient and timely delivery. The right service should be able to provide whatever their clients need to create the best transportation network for their purposes. They will work to understand the situation at hand and provide a solution that really works. Many businesses want their reach to extend as far as possible, or at least into those areas of the world where their target audience lives. Strategically placed bases on the network can allow them to influence the world, no matter how their goods are traveling.

The supply chain winds through all of our lives, providing us with necessities, luxury items, and everything in between. It is one of those parts of life that we tend to take for granted until it is taken away. Hopefully, this lesson will never have to be learned, and the chain will remain strong. Attach the power of your business to this chain, and join the worldwide network that keeps everything moving.

 

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The Importance of Flexibility in the Logistics Industry

by Administrator7. April 2015 10:05

The Importance of Flexibility in the Logistics Industry | The Dependable Companies

 

As the manners and ways in which business is conducted and managed change, the patterns and logistical practices must evolve as well. Therefore, flexibility is a key component to successful business. Below are a few important ways in which flexibility impacts logistics.

Successful Collaborations

Whether you are looking to create a new connection within house or with another business, when merging two completely self-functional aspects there are certain considerations and alterations that are needed. As such, flexibility is key in securing that new collaboration. If a particular department or a company is unyielding they can easily inhibit progress of the project or merger.

Develop Customer Loyalty

Different customers will have different preferences and needed services. As such, for a company to truly thrive it will have to be able to provide all possible options within reason. Even a company offering specialty items provide some level of variety. In fact, it is those companies that can hit that balance of providing a variety of exclusive products or services to clients that can develop life-long clientele.

Remain Current

Flexibility allows for the incorporation of new concepts, operations and considerations, and these things make room for innovations. Companies that are able to incorporate new concepts easily will be able to remain at the forefront of budding technologies and processes, and may even be considered a leader in their fields. Especially within the logistics industry, staying ahead of the trends is key, and flexibility helps to make that possible.

The logistics industry focuses primarily on the successful operation of products and processes. With the changing needs and desires of society, there comes a necessary shift in business practices and protocols. Therefore, flexibility is key for the survival of any company. There are other important reasons why flexibility is so critical, but the aforementioned cover the main bases. Find out more about the importance of logistics and how it can help your company by contacting your local logistics firm today.

 

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Advantages of Using a Third-Party Logistics Provider for International Shipping

by Administrator7. April 2015 10:04

Advantages of Using a Third-Party Logistics Provider for International Shipping | The Dependable Companies

 

There are many companies that operate internationally. It is important for these companies to be able to safely ship their products from the United States to the countries where they conduct their business. These shipments need to happen within a reasonable amount of time, and the cargo must remain completely secure. The logistics of this type of operation can be very complicated. It is important to have access to packaging materials, warehouses, ships or airplanes, and personnel who are capable of transporting the cargo safely. Contracting with a third-party logistics provider can save companies that operate internationally a lot of time and money. 

Services Provided by International Logistics Companies

Companies that provide international shipping services are experts at transporting goods in an efficient manner. They are able to transport cargo that weighs as little as 10 kilos and as much as 10,000 kilos. These companies have the necessary equipment to safely ship materials that are over-weight and over-sized. Certain companies will even transport hazardous materials, although there are usually restrictions on this type of cargo. The staff members of these companies know how to plan out every step in the entire process so the operation runs smoothly. 

Safety and Security Procedures

There are many rigorous safety standards that must be met when cargo is being shipped internationally. These standards are put forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Homeland Security Administration of the United States, and the cargo security programs of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). There are third-party logistics companies that will screen all of their customers’ cargo on-site using sophisticated technology. All shipments are carefully monitored throughout the entire process to ensure the safety and integrity of the goods. The custody of each product is carefully controlled from the moment the shipment is picked up until it is delivered to its final location.

Shipping products internationally can be a huge headache. Global logistics providers will work with their customers on an individual basis to ensure that the goods are safely transported to their destination in a timely manner.

 

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Import Growth Trends + Their Impact on the Logistics Industry

by Administrator31. March 2015 10:30

Import Growth Trends + Their Impact on the Logistics Industry | The Dependable Companies

 

Over the past two decades, rapid import growth in the United States has created an imbalance in the volume of inbound freight versus the potential services and carriers able to accommodate it. Combined with a volatile oil market, freight transportation costs have increased to a point where new solutions must be implemented in order to keep pace with the continued rise in demand.

Recent History

National trade data accumulated by TradeStats Express in 2013 shows that, dating back to 2005, the U.S. experienced mostly steady growth in import value from its four top trading regions (including Asia, North America, Europe, and Latin America). The recent recession reversed these trends in a major way, but only for about two years before year-to-year import value increases skyrocketed by 20-plus percent across the board.

Present Day

With growth trends once again resembling their pre-recession trajectory, the U.S. logistics industry finds itself facing the challenge of congestion resulting from an abundance of imported goods. Even the volume of individual container ships has nearly doubled since 1997 (average of 3,074 twenty-foot equivalent units in 2012 versus 1,581 in ’97), resulting in greater capacity constraints, particularly for those truck and rail corridors which link larger seaports with inland destinations.

The Future

Transport needs only figure to increase, with some estimates indicating import volume growing by as much as 68 percent by the year 2040. Where today’s carrier ships are averaging over 3,000 TEUs, vessels carrying tens of thousands of containers are already being discussed, threatening to compound the problem.

Potential solutions address all facets of supply chain logistics. Everything from a reduced reliance on outsourced manufacturing to more efficient packaging of consumer goods helps to improve shipment density while decreasing the overall quantity of products being imported, easing congestion while lowering transportation costs.

Peripheral benefits should also be considered, such as reduced environmental impact, as well as increased demand for stateside manufacturing. Indeed, the burden of import growth is not one which will be solved overnight, but must be addressed in order for trade and transportation to move forward fluidly and effectively.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than The Dependable Companies
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How Going Green Can Help Shipping Companies with Sustainable Freight Transport

by Administrator31. March 2015 10:13

How Going Green Can Help Shipping Companies with Sustainable Freight Transport | The Dependable Companies

 

A company’s ability to survive depends on its ability to adapt to whatever kind of circumstances may arise. Third-party logistics providers have an avid interest in using their resources wisely. The costs associated with shipping goods from one location to another can be astronomical. It often requires the use of large trucks which can consume enormous amounts of fuel. When fuel prices start to soar, it can negatively impact the profits of any company that is using the truck

With the economy recovering from a recession, it has become necessary for third-party logistics companies to become more efficient in the way they use their resources. The following list describes methods that some of these companies have been utilizing to keep the environment safe, and use fuel more efficiently.  

Ecoflaps

An ecoflap is a mud flap that allows air to move through it. This cuts down on wind resistance, and minimizes debris from other vehicles on the road. 

Auxiliary Power Units

Auxiliary Power Units are devices that prevent a truck from idling. Having the engine turned off while the truck is not driving reduces emissions and can save money on fuel costs. 

Mandatory Company Speed Limit

When truck drivers are required to drive at 61 mph, it reduces the amount of fuel that is consumed during a single trip. This requirement helps to ensure the safety of the driver, and of everyone else on the road. In addition, when less fuel is used emissions are reduced.

Using Highly-Rated Drivers

Companies that hire drivers with exceptional safety records are much more likely to have fewer accidents on the roads. There will be fewer problems with speeding tickets, and greater customer satisfaction.

Companies that utilize these and other methods are much more likely to have sustainable freight transport. Going greener by improving efficiency and reducing fuel consumption, which lowers carbon dioxide emissions, can help everyone involved have a profitable experience, and it can also help to protect the environment.

 

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Maintaining Continuity + Managing Risk in Logistics

by Administrator25. March 2015 09:16

Maintaining Continuity + Managing Risk in Logistics | The Dependable Companies

 

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, as the saying goes. Likewise, a single breakdown anywhere in your supply chain can threaten to disrupt operations, posing a serious threat to any business. What is the solution? Simply put, planning for contingencies is the greatest protection that can be put in place. A focused backup plan is a key to ensuring fluid procurement and distribution for your business, regardless of circumstances.

Evaluate Your Risks

It is crucial to assess the risks your supply chain may eventually face. Weigh the physical location(s) where goods are manufactured, and whether political, labor, or geographical factors may compromise production at any point. Global issues should also be considered, such as fuel prices and inflation rates, both of which are capable of impacting your bottom line.

Designate Responsibilities

Once major risks have been identified, it is important to assign specific members of your organization (as well as outside partners) duties which must be carried out in order to respond to a disruption in service. This reduces the risk of unguided, knee-jerk reactions which may turn a bad situation worse.

Develop Versatility

Consider establishing business relationships with backup suppliers and logistics partners, in the event that a primary provider is incapacitated. Likewise, transport freight using multiple corridors and methods, so a single hindrance does not create major delays. Cross train staff to improve agility and emergency response capabilities.

Partner with Experienced Carriers

Freight services with larger fleets and which have been in service for longer periods of time usually share a common trait: they have weathered storms to survive and continue growing. Working with a proven entity can be a backup plan unto itself, provided proper planning is executed with that provider.

The Final Word

A good contingency plan always involves thorough planning, realistic risk analysis, and partnerships with the right people. Be sure off-site backups of shipping and applicable trade documents are in place, and most importantly, that backup plans are regularly tested for effectiveness. An auxiliary supplier is only a suitable safeguard if that supplier is readily available in the moment of need, so take care to review and update contacts regularly to minimize risk and ensure continuity in your logistical process.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than The Dependable Companies
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You can find me on Twitter via @LogisticsDan
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The Logistics of Sustainability (Infographic)

by Administrator25. March 2015 09:11

 

The Logistics of Sustainability (Infographic) | The Dependable Companies

 

Source: www.UPS.com

Supply Chain Solutions Offered by Third-Party Logistics Providers

by Administrator18. March 2015 14:43

Supply Chain Solutions Offered by Third-Party Logistics Providers | The Dependable Companies

 

Every company that ships products from one location to another must be able to do so in a timely and efficient manner. Finding a warehouse to safely store the products, acquiring trucks or airplanes to transport the products, and figuring out how to deliver them to their final location requires a lot of planning. If the process is done inefficiently, it can result in the company wasting a lot of valuable resources. Third-party logistics providers have the necessary experience it requires to help companies utilize effective supply chain solutions.

Transportation Solutions

Many third-party logistics providers usually have access to trucks, airplanes, and ships that can quickly and safely transport a company’s products around the globe.  These providers utilize technology that can allow their customers to track their products all along the way. This allows customers to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their products are safe, and will be arriving at their final destination in a timely manner.

Third-party logistics providers also employ many methods to ensure that resources such as fuel are being used efficiently. They may use trucks that come with auxiliary power units (APU), which are anti-idling devices. Many providers require their drivers to travel at 61 mph, a speed which reduces fuel consumption. Both of these tactics save companies money on fuel, which is a huge part of the cost of transportation. 

Warehousing Solutions

Finding a temporary place to store products can be difficult for many companies. Third-party logistics providers offer their customers warehouses to securely store their materials until they are needed. They offer both long-term and short-term storage, for large and small quantities of product. These warehouses are incredibly secure. They often have video surveillance systems, and are guarded around the clock. The best providers utilize resources wisely by using highly efficient light bulbs, tractors that are compliant with EPA regulations, and by recycling boxes and computer equipment. 

Allowing a third-party logistics provider to handle all of a company’s transportation needs is a great way to save time and money. These providers help companies to efficiently transport and store products.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than The Dependable Companies
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3PL vs 4PL

by Administrator18. March 2015 14:27

3PL vs 4PL | The Dependable Companies

 

The world market operates with an increasingly complex supply chain. As such, many business terms are being created or are even used interchangeably. When it comes to logistics, it is important to understand the difference between third-party providers (3PL) and fourth-party providers (3PL).

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

The CSCMP defines 3PL as outsourcing all or a portion of a business’s logistics operation to an outside company. The term was first coined in the 1970's for intermodal marketing companies (IMC). Instead of handling single contracts between shipper and carrier, businesses began using IMCs as middlemen. 

Today, most 3PL companies offer comprehensive strategies and typically bundle a variety of services, including the following: 

  • Warehousing
  • Transportation
  • Internal inventory management
  • Cross-docking
  • Packaging
  • Freight forwarding

In 2008, federal law reaffirmed this role with a legislative bill that officially defined 3PL as: “A person who solely receives, holds, or otherwise transports a consumer product in the ordinary course of business but who does take title to the product.”

When Did 4PL Come In?

The term 4PL began as an original trademark of Accenture in 1996. The company described it as a provider that pulls together and manages the resources and technology of its own operation with those of other providers to deliver one comprehensive service solution. Because the trademark is no longer registered, the term 4PL is now used more loosely in a more complex market. According to the CSCMP, there are several key differences between 4PL and 3PL:

  • 4PL structure is typically established separately as a long-term venture between a main client and one or more outside partners. 
  • 4PL providers establish a single alliance between the client and all other service providers.
  • 4PLs typically handle all aspects of a client’s supply chain.

4PL providers are also known as lead logistics providers. Because its main function is the entire supply chain, a 4PL can essentially be a non-asset-owning empire. Moreover, it is possible for a large 3PL to establish a 4PL within its own organization.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than The Dependable Companies
or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @LogisticsDan
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